C O N T E N T S
Hope, 1965 ● i
Summer, 1971: St. Edmund’s ● 1
First Year: The Hogwarts Express ● 5
First Year: The Sorting ● 9
First Year: Full Moon ● 15
First Year: Potions ● 18
First Year: Revenge ● 21
First Year: Marauders ● 27
First Year: Secrets ● 32
First Year: Scars ● 37
First Year: History ● 41
First Year: Birthdays, books, and The Beatles ● 45
First Year: Christmas 1971 ● 49
First Year: Lectiuncula Magna ● 55
First Year: The Prank ● 62
First Year: Aftermath ● 67
First Year: Astronomy ● 76
First Year: Twelve ● 80
First Year: Revision ● 85
First Year: End of Term ● 90
Summer 1972 ● 95
Second Year: Regulus Black ● 98
2nd Year: The Rise & Fall of Ziggy Stardust & the Spiders from Mars ● 102
Second Year: Brotherhood ● 105
Second Year: Potions, again ● 111
Second Year: After Hours ● 117
Second Year: Quidditch ● 123
Second Year: A Birthday Engagement ● 128
Second Year: Assumptions ● 132
Second Year: December Moon ● 136
Second Year: Christmas with the Potters ● 142
Second Year: Sirius Returns ● 148
Second Year: Gryffindor vs. Slytherin ● 153
Second Year: Discoveries ● 159
Second Year: Thirteen ● 164
Second Year: What’s in a Name? ● 169
Second Year: Love & Marriage ● 175
Second Year: Exams ● 180
Second Year: The Long Last Day (Part 1) ● 185
Second Year: The Long Last Day (Part 2) ● 195
Summer 1973 ● 200
Third Year: Home Again ● 205
Third Year: Fantastic Beasts ● 211
Third Year: The Hogwarts Black Market ● 216
Third Year: Hogsmeade ● 222
Third Year: Noble and Most Ancient ● 228
Third Year: The Slug Club ● 234
Third Year: James Potter and the Lumpy Elephant Dung ● 239
Third Year: Sirius Turns Fourteen ● 245
Third Year: Know Thyself ● 251
Third Year: Philomena Pettigrew ● 257
Third Year: The Man Who Cried Wolf ● 264
Third Year: Confidence ● 271
Third Year: Davey Gudgeon ● 276
Third Year: Marlene ● 281
Third Year: Greyback ● 286
Summer 1974 ● 293
Fourth Year: A Gathering Storm ● 298
Fourth Year: Competition ● 303
Fourth Year: September ● 310
Fourth Year: October ● 315
Fourth Year: November (Part 1) ● 320
Fourth Year: November (Part 2) ● 327
Fourth Year: December ● 334
Fourth Year: Christmas ● 342
Fourth Year: January ● 350
Fourth Year: February (Part 1) ● 356
Fourth Year: February (Part 2) ● 363
Fourth Year: March ● 369
Fourth Year: April ● 376
Fourth Year: Partings ● 381
While I’m far away from you, my baby
I know it’s hard for you, my baby.
Because it’s hard for me my baby
And the darkest hour is just before dawn.
“You’ve never been a very clever girl, Hope.”
“No, mum.” Hope stared into her cup of tea. No milk, just a sunny slice of lemon,
served in a proper teacup with a saucer that had a matching roseleaf design. She’d been
supposed to receive a similar set when she’d got married, but Lyall hadn’t wanted muggles
at the reception.
Her mother tutted loudly.
“I always said he was no good. Man like that - no family, no church. And you never
explained exactly what he did for work.”
“He was in local government.” Hope replied. She put the teacup down on the little end
table in her mother’s living room.
“Council?” Her mum asked, brightening a bit, “Well that’s something. Did he leave a
pension? Anything at all?”
“A little bit. But I want to keep it by for Remus.”
Her mother tutted again. She thought it was a silly name. Hope had tried to
compromise, and given her son her own father’s name too - but Remus John sounded even
worse, according to her mother.
Mrs Jenkins preferred to pretend that Hope’s little boy didn’t exist at all, even when he
was sleeping in the bedroom upstairs. Hope wanted to go and check on him now - give him
a cuddle - but she didn’t dare get up; her mother would call it coddling and Hope didn’t
want a fight. He was sleeping a lot - that was probably normal for five year olds.
But Remus wasn’t a normal five year old, not any more.
A pain struck Hope deep inside her chest; heartbreak. She bowed her head, letting her
hair fall forward, closed her eyes and let the tears run past her lashes. She sniffed. I need
you, Lyall. How could you do this to me?
“And what do you plan to do for money? I can’t support you, not at my age.”
“I thought I could go back to the Exchange.” Hope said, barely above a whisper.
“Gethin said when I left I could come back if I wanted to. They always need operators.”
“He had a soft spot for you, as I recall.” Her mother said. She sounded thoughtful; she
wasn’t really talking to Hope now, she was planning. Hope was familiar enough with the
way her mother’s mind worked, always scheming, tidying up and smoothing over. Making
corrections. The past six years had been a mistake - soon to be corrected.
This was nothing new to Hope; other people had been making decisions for her all her
life. First her mother, who advised her to leave school early and get a job at the Telephone
Exchange. Then Lyall, who she had followed into another world entirely. Now he was gone,
and it was back to mother. You’ve never been a very clever girl.
She hadn’t even been asked about the funeral. It was all taken care of by his people -
strange little men in robes who could arrange anything with a wave of their wand. They
were very kind to Hope, but they treated her like a child - and a particularly stupid one, at
that. One of them took all of Lyall’s things - his books and his wand. She was allowed to
keep the house, but was advised to sell it on.
“It’s really a wizard’s house, Mrs Lupin,” they smiled thinly, “Not suited to muggle
habitation. Of course, you’re welcome to try… ”
But no. The charms Lyall had put in place wouldn’t let her in any more, and anyway,
she needed the money. The wizards had a vague interest in Remus, though she’d done her
best to keep him hidden from view - Lyall had put the fear of god in her about that. If
anyone so much as suspected what had happened to her little boy, they’d take him away and
lock him up.
“Has he shown any magical ability?” One tall, quiet man had asked. He had a long
white beard and piercing blue eyes, and Hope was terrified of him.
“He makes all the dinner plates float, sometimes.” She confirmed.
(She didn’t mention anything else Remus had done. That the first time the change had
come over him; the first time her poor baby had been turned inside out by that awful curse,
he had been so frightened he’d vanished the door, and Lyall had to barricade him in with
the china cabinet in the end. Perhaps that had been the last straw, for Lyall.)
“That’s very good,” The old man smiled, “He’ll receive his Hogwarts letter after his
She hadn’t known what to say to that, but tried to look pleased. Hope wanted Remus
to be like his father - better than being like her, anyway - but she couldn’t see how he would
ever get into an exclusive school like that, not now.
“Hope, are you listening to me?” Her mother snapped. Hope blinked, and looked up.
“I was asking about the boy. You said you’d made arrangements?”
The old man who’d asked about Remus had helped her with that too. He was nice
about it. He said it was entirely up to her, but that he knew somebody, if she needed help.
Somebody who would be discreet. He put her in touch with a woman called Mrs Orwell,
who ran a home for boys. It was in Essex, but maybe Remus would do better if he got his
start in England - it wasn’t as if there were any better opportunities in Wales. Hope knew
how difficult it was, feeling like an outsider, and Remus would have enough of that already.
“I’ll take him tomorrow.” Hope said to her mother. “We’ll get the train.”
“Shall I come with you, cariad?” Her mother softened. She always did, when Hope was
Hope shook her head. Tears streamed down her cheeks, but she barely noticed that
any more. It was hard to believe she hadn’t shrivelled up like a raisin, all the tears she’d
shed lately. Her mother got up and came to sit on the arm of the sofa. She put an arm
around Hope and squeezed her gently.
“There there, my love. It’s the right thing. The best thing. You’re young, still, you’ll
bounce back. Give it a year or so, and it’ll be as if none of this ever happened, I promise
Hope wiped her eyes and got up, pulling away from her mother.
“I’m going to check on him.”
“I don’t know if that’s wise...”
“I’m going to check on my son, mother.”
She climbed the narrow stairs slowly. Brown carpet, brown wallpaper. Everything felt
so mundane, after Lyall. She felt like Judy Garland at the end of the Wizard of Oz - the
hurricane had passed, and the world returned to black and white. Hope had never
understood why Dorothy was so happy to be home. Who wouldn’t choose colour?
At the top of the dark little landing Hope was presented with three closed doors. Her
parents’ room, the bathroom, and her childhood bedroom. Her current bedroom, actually,
until she could save up enough for an escape. She thought of Lyall’s money again. No. That
She pushed open the door slowly. It didn’t creak, but the carpet always caught, and
made an unpleasant noise if you shoved it. Inside, the thin yellow curtains were drawn,
casting everything in a warm buttery glow.
Her black funeral dress was hung up on the door of the wardrobe. She’d bought it
specially, because she’d never owned anything black before, it had cost a fortune. They’d all
been in robes, Lyall’s friends, and she had felt like the odd one out.
It was so strange to be back in this room; everything seemed small and ancient,
though in truth it had only been six years since she’d last slept here. Everything was still in
its place. Her little white painted wicker dressing table, which probably still had a hidden
packet of cigarettes in one of the bottom drawers, along with the lipsticks and eyeshadows
she and her father had fought over when she was fifteen. A poster of The Monkees on the
wall over the bed, next to an Arthur Rackham print.
Strangest of all was the little boy curled up on the lavender bedspread. Still fast asleep,
all golden curls and chubby cheeks and fat little fists. Her heart skipped a beat, as it had
from the very first moment she’d held him in her arms. Her baby boy.
She sat carefully on the bed, and lay down beside him. He stirred a little, yawned and
stretched out. She brushed her fingers lightly against his cheek; she loved that perfect baby
skin, so soft and unblemished. Except he was blemished, now. A little graze just under his
jaw - it could be passed off as just the usual sort of scrape. Children were always bumping
into things, falling over. Not Remus. He was such a careful little boy; he watched
She curled her body around his, turning her back on the rest of the room. When
Remus was first born, she hadn’t been able to get out of bed for days, but he was such a
peaceful little baby, they’d both lain just like this, keeping each other company. Lyall would
get in from work and come and join them. He would wrap his own long limbs around Hope,
and she would cocoon Remus, and close her eyes and just feel so safe, and so happy.
If only Lyall was here now. It was the touch of him she missed the most. He was so
tall, even when Hope wore her highest heels he could rest his chin on the top of her head.
The tears stung in her eyes and she lay her hand softly on Remus’s chest, feeling the steady
rise and fall.
Sometimes, on those afternoons when the little family lay in bed together, Lyall would
sing an old lullaby to Remus. Hope had never heard it before, but she loved the way he sang
it; it was the only time you could hear the soft scottish accent in his voice. She hummed a
few bars now, wondering if Remus remembered that his daddy had sung for him, and only
Baloo, my boy, lie still and sleep
It grieves me sore to hear thee weep
If thou'lt be silent I'll be glad
Thy moaning makes my heart full sad.
Baloo, my boy, thy mother's joy
Thy father bred me great annoy
Baloo, baloo, baloo, baloo
Baloo, baloo, lu-li-li-lu.
Oh, Lyall Lupin, you bastard. It was an impossible burden, to hate somebody you
couldn’t help loving. How could he put her in this position? He must have known she
couldn’t do it alone. She wasn’t magic, like him. She wasn’t strong. And she had never been
a very clever girl.
She was crying again, but Hope had learnt to cry without making a sound. Maybe that
was just being a mother, though what right she had to that title, she didn’t know. She
pulled her son’s warm little body close to hers, not caring if she woke him up. She could feel
his tiny heart beating against her own.
Remember this, she begged him, silently. I love you, I love you, I love you.
(Song: Dedicated to the One I Love - The Mamas & Papas)
(Lullaby: Lady Anne Bothwell’s Lament or Baloo my boy)
Summer 1971: St. Edmund’s
Saturday 7th August 1971
He woke up in the dark. It was too hot in the little room they’d put him in, being early
August. Though he supposed that could be the fever. He always had a high temperature, the
morning after. They used to put him in a room with a window, but a few months ago he’d
been able to smash one of them, and if it hadn’t had bars anyway then he’d have escaped.
He’d heard them talking about restraining him as he got older. He tried not to think about
He remembered the feeling of hunger, so intense it transformed into rage. He
remembered howling and keening for hours, circling the cell over and over again. Perhaps
they’d let him off lessons today, and he could sleep. It was the summer holiday’s anyway,
and not fair that he had to do lessons when all the other boys were allowed to spend all day
dossing about, playing football or watching telly. Sitting up, he stretched carefully, paying
attention to every ache and pop of his joints. There was a fresh claw mark behind his left
ear, and a deep bite in his right thigh.
He rubbed his hand over his scalp, where his hair was shaved very close to his head
and bristled against his fingers. He hated it, but every boy at the children’s home had the
same severe buzz cut. It meant that when they were allowed out in town on weekends
everyone knew they were St. Edmund’s boys – which was probably the point. The
shopkeepers knew who to look out for. Not that the boys themselves did anything to
subvert expectations. They had been told so often that they were the dregs of society; left
behind and unwanted – so why not cause a little havoc?
Remus heard footsteps at the end of the hall. It was Matron; he could smell her, hear
her heartbeat. His senses were always amplified after one of his episodes. He stood up,
pulling a blanket around himself despite the heat, and padded towards the door to listen
harder. She was not alone, there was a man with her. He smelled old and somehow…
different. A thick, iron scent which reminded Remus vaguely of his father. It was magic.
“Are you sure it’s worth your time?” Matron was asking the stranger, “He’s really one
of our worst cases.”
“Oh yes,” The old man replied. His voice was rich and warm like chocolate. “We’re
very sure. Is this where you keep him during…?”
“His episodes.” The matron finished in her clipped, nasal voice. “For his own safety.
He’s started biting, since his last birthday.”
“I see.” The man replied, sounding thoughtful, rather than concerned. “May I ask,
madam, what it is you know about the young man’s affliction?”
“Everything I need to know.” Matron replied, coldly. “He’s been here since he was
five. And he’s always been trouble – not just because he’s one of your sort.”
“My sort?” The man replied, calm and unperturbed. Matron lowered her voice almost
to a whisper, but Remus could still hear.
“My brother was one. Haven’t seen him in years of course, but he occasionally asks me
favours. St Edmund's is a very special institution. We’re equipped for problem cases.”
Remus heard the jangle of keys, “Now, you must let me see him first. He often needs
patching up. I don’t know why you wanted to see him after a full moon in the first place, if
you already knew.”
The old man did not reply, and Matron walked towards Remus’ room, her patent
leather heels clicking on the stone floor. She knocked on the door three times.
“Lupin? Are you awake?”
“Yeah.” He replied, pulling his blanket tighter. They took his clothes off him to stop
them getting torn.
“Yes, Matron.” Matron corrected him, through the door.
“Yes, Matron.” Remus muttered, as the key turned in the lock and creaked open. The
door was plain wood, and he knew he could easily smash it during an episode, but it had
been fitted with silver plating after the window incident. Just the smell of it made him feel
queasy and headachy. The door opened. Light poured in like water and he blinked wildly.
As Matron entered the room he automatically took a step back.
She was a birdlike, pointy sort of woman, with a long thin nose and dark beady eyes.
She regarded him warily.
“Need any bandages, this time?”
He showed her his wounds. They weren’t bleeding any more, he’d noticed that the
injuries he inflicted upon himself, though deep, healed faster than any other cuts and
scrapes; he never even needed stitches. The scars never faded, however, and left silvery
slash marks across his body. Matron knelt before him, dabbing him with antiseptic and
wrapping him in itchy gauze. This done, she handed him his clothes and he dressed quickly
in front of her.
“You’ve a visitor.” She said, finally, as he pulled his t-shirt over his head. It was grey,
like all of their clothes.
“Who?” He asked, looking her in the eye because he knew she didn’t like it.
“A teacher. He’s here to talk to you about school.”
“Don’t want to.” He replied. He hated school. “Tell him to get lost.”
Matron clipped him around the ear. He’d expected it, and didn’t flinch.
“Less of the lip.” She snapped. “You’ll do as you’re told or I’ll leave you in here for the
rest of the day. Come on, now.” She grabbed his arms and pulled him forward.
He scowled, thought about fighting her off, but there was no point. She really might
lock in him again, and he was curious about the stranger now. Especially as the scent of
magic grew stronger as they moved down the shadowy corridor.
The man waiting for them was quite tall and dressed in the strangest suit Remus has
ever seen. It was velvet, a deep maroon colour with elaborate gold embroidery at the cuffs
and lapels. His tie was midnight blue. He must have been very old indeed – his hair was
white as snow, and he had an incredible long beard which must have reached his navel.
Strange as he looked, Remus didn’t feel intimidated, as he did with most grownups. The
man had kind eyes, and smiled at Remus from behind half-moon spectacles as they
approached. He extended a hand,
“Mr. Lupin,” The old man said, warmly, “A pleasure to meet you.”
Remus stared, entranced. No one had ever addressed him with such respect before. He
felt almost embarrassed. He shook the man’s hand, feeling an electric burn as he did so, like
“Hi.” He replied, staring.
“I am Professor Dumbledore. I wonder if you would join me in a turn about the
grounds? It’s such a lovely day out.”
Remus glanced up at Matron, who nodded. This in itself was worth having to talk
about school with an oddly dressed stranger – she never let him outside during a full moon,
not even with supervision.
They carried on down a few more corridors, just the two of them. Remus was sure he’d
never seen Dumbledore at St Edmund’s before, but he certainly seemed to know his way
around. Once they were finally outside, Remus breathed deeply, the warm summer sunlight
washing over him. The ‘grounds’, as Dumbledore had called them, were not extensive. A
patch of yellowing grass the boys used for football and a small patio terrace with weeds
growing up through the cracks in the crazy paving.
“How are you feeling, Mr. Lupin?” The old man asked. Remus shrugged. He felt the
same way he always did afterwards. Sore and restless. Dumbledore didn’t snap at him for
insolence, merely continued to smile down at him as they walked slowly around the
“What d’you want?” Remus finally asked, kicking a stone out of his way.
“I suspect you already have some idea,” Dumbledore replied. He reached into his
pocket and pulled out a brown paper bag. Remus could smell sherbet lemon, and sure
enough, Dumbledore offered him a sweet. He took it and sucked.
“You’re magic.” He said, plainly. “Like my dad.”
“Do you remember your father, Remus?”
He shrugged again. He didn’t very well. All his memory could ever drag up was the
shape of a tall, skinny man wearing a long cloak, looming over him, crying. He assumed
that had been the night he was bitten. He remembered that, well enough.
“He was magic,” Remus said. “He could make stuff happen. Mum was normal.”
Dumbledore smiled at him, kindly.
“Is that what your Matron has told you?”
“Some of it. Some of it I knew. He’s dead, anyway, topped himself.”
Dumbledore looked slightly taken aback by this, which pleased Remus. It was a point
of pride, having a tragic backstory. He didn’t think about his father often, other than to
consider whether he would have killed himself if Remus hadn’t been bitten. He carried on.
“Mum’s not dead though. Just didn’t want me. So I’m here.” He looked around.
Dumbledore had stopped walking. They were at the furthest edge of the grounds now, by
the tall back fence. There was a loose board there which no one knew about. Remus could
slip through it if he wanted to, and get onto the main road into town. He never really went
anywhere in particular; just wandered around waiting for the police to pick him up and
bring him back. It was better than doing nothing.
“Do you like it here?” Dumbledore was asking. Remus snorted,
“’Course I bloody don’t.” He side-eyed Dumbledore, but didn’t get in trouble for
“No, I didn’t think so.” The old man observed, “I hear you’re something of a
troublemaker, is that right?”
“Ain’t any worse than the others,” Remus said. “We’re ‘troubled boys’.”
“Yes, I see.” Dumbledore stroked his beard as if Remus has said something of extreme
“Got another sweet?” Remus held out a hand expectantly. Dumbledore handed him
the bag and he couldn’t believe his luck. The old fool was a complete pushover. He chewed
the lozenge this time, feeling it crunch like glass between his teeth, sherbet exploding on
his tongue like fireworks.
“I run a school, you know. The same school your father went to.”
That threw Remus for a loop. He swallowed the sweet and scratched his head.
“It’s a very special sort of school. For wizards, like me. And like you. Would you like to
learn magic, Remus?”
Remus shook his head, fervently.
“I’m too thick.” He said, firmly, “I won’t get in.”
“I’m sure that’s not true at all.”
“Ask her,” Remus jerked his head back towards the tall grey building where Matron
lay in wait. “Can’t hardly read, even. I’m stupid.”
Dumbledore looked at him for a very long time.
“You haven’t had a very easy start in life, Mr Lupin, and I’m sorry about that. I knew
your father – only a little – and I’m sure he wouldn’t have wanted… anyway. I am here to
offer you something different. A place among your own kind. Perhaps even a way to
channel all of this anger you have.”
Remus stared at him. What difference did it make, if he was in one home or another?
Matron never gave him sweets, and didn’t smell like magic. The kids at Dumbledore’s
school couldn’t be worse than the St Edmund’s boys, and if they were then at least he could
hold his own in a fight, now. But. There was always a ‘but’.
“What about my episodes?” He asked, folding his arms. “I’m dangerous, y’know.”
“Yes, Remus, I know,” Dumbledore replied, sadly. He placed a hand on Remus’
shoulder, very gently. “We’ll see what we can come up with. Leave it with me.”
Remus shook him off and chewed on another sherbet lemon. They walked back to the
building in silence, both satisfied that they understood each other now.
First Year: The Hogwarts Express
Remus rubbed his scalp again, then his nose, which kept running. It had been
bothering him since dinner the evening before, when another boy had punched him. To be
fair, Remus had kicked him first. But the boy – Malcolm White – was fourteen and twice the
size of eleven-year-old Remus. Malcolm had made some crack about Remus going to a
special school for backwards kids, and he’d had to retaliate. He had a black eye now, which
he regretted. Everyone at the new school would think he was a yob. But then, he supposed
he was a yob.
Matron slapped his hand away from his head and he scowled up at her. They stood in the
huge ticket hall at King’s Cross staring at two platform numbers. There was number nine,
then number ten. Matron looked at the letter in her hand again.
“For goodness sake.” She muttered.
“We have to run at the barriers.” Remus said, “I told you.”
“Don’t be ridiculous.” Matron said, “I’m not running at anything.”
“I’ll go, then. Leave me here.”
Remus had only half believed Dumbledore when he’d explained how to access
platform 9 ¾. But then packages had started arriving for him, delivered by owls and
containing strange books and weird clothes and all sorts of oddments like quills and
parchment. Dumbledore had been unfailingly generous over the past month. He’d
presented Remus with a list of things he would need for his new school, and promised to
send him as much of it as he could from the second hand supplies at Hogwarts. Now Remus
was willing to believe almost anything the old man said.
He’d never owned so many possessions before, and was actually glad when Matron
had locked everything in her office so it wouldn’t get pinched by the other boys. Now it had
all been crammed into a battered old charity shop suitcase which he had to hold in a very
particular way so it didn’t fall apart.
“I’m not leaving you anywhere, Lupin. Just wait there while I find a guard.” Matron
clipped off towards the ticket office, her big backside wobbling as she went. Remus glanced
about furtively, then licked his lips. It might be his only chance.
He ran at the barrier at full pelt, squeezing his eyes shut tight as he approached the
metal turnstiles. But he didn’t hit anything. The atmosphere changed, and he opened his
eyes to find himself standing on a completely different platform, surrounded by people. Not
The train itself was huge, gorgeous and old fashioned. ‘The Hogwarts Express’. He
clutched his suitcase with both hands, biting his lip. There were lots of other children, his
own age and older, but they were all with their families, some of them crying as they were
hugged and kissed by protective mothers. He felt very small and very alone, and thought it
best to just hurry up and get on the train.